BPRA Rejects Results of Chombo Probe on BCC

BULAWAYO Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has received with concern reports that the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development will soon be releasing the results of a probe of Bulawayo’s City Council (BCC) which may lead to the suspension of some councillors in the city. It is reported that the Minister of local government, Dr Ignatius Chombo said some councillors would be censured following the report and ‘one or two’ suspended.

Ignatius Chombo
Ignatius Chombo

While BPRA accepts moves aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in the operations of local authorities, the association is wary of the intentions of Minister Chombo whose actions have, this year documented that he may be on a mission to destabilise local authorities run by opposition parties. BPRA questions the fact that two months after the probe, the residents of Bulawayo, on whose behalf the investigation was supposedly carried out, still do not know explicitly who or which departments were investigated, and who carriedout the investigating.

It is also BPRA’s contention that the ministry did not conduct the probe in a clear and transparent manner as the team that was appointed to probe BCC refused to receive submissions from BPRA, which represents residents from all of Bulawayo’s 29 wards. BPRA thus fears that the release of the report from the investigation may be the conclusion of a move aimed at destabilising MDC T led municipalities, as has been previously alleged that councils like Mutare, Harare, Chitungiza and Gwanda have also had their activities meddled in. BPRA thus rejects the results of the probe and sees the prospect of councillors being suspended on its basis as an affront to democracy.

While BPRA does not condone any corruption and abuse of power by the city’s councillors, the association also does not tolerate Minister Chombo’s meddling in the affairs of local authorities which have been done clandestinely without consultation of residents.

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